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Author: Hiranandani, Veera
Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble, and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always-her own voice.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 512837
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (09/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 Gr 3–7—It's 1967 and the United States is roiling with social unrest. Ari, a young white Jewish girl, lives in a small town in Connecticut with her family. When her older sister falls in love with Raj, a young man who recently immigrated to the United States from India, Ari's parents are vehemently opposed to the union. Torn between her love for her sister and her desire to keep her family together, Ari must find her own voice and fight for what she believes is right. This enthralling historical fiction provides a view into a momentous time in U.S. history from an uncommon perspective. As one of the few Jewish students in her town, Ari feels isolated, and her classmates see her as slow because of her dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects her ability to write. But after her teacher encourages her to try writing poetry, she finds freedom, a new way of expressing herself, and a newfound ability to connect with those around her. The story centers on a tough conflict, and Hiranandani delivers an authentic depiction of reconciliation, with all its messiness and hurt feelings. Importantly, both families have misgivings about the marriage, but their love for their children forces them to confront and overcome their own prejudices. Characters discuss critical events of the period, such as the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and Loving v. Virginia. Like many people, Ari and her parents initially see themselves as existing on the periphery of the critical events of their time, and it takes a personal crisis to jolt them out of this state of mind. VERDICT A splendid historical fiction tale of bravery and determination.—Laken Hottle, Providence Community Lib. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2021 In 1967, Ariel (Ari) Goldberg is 11 years old and lives in Danbury, Connecticut, with her parents and her older sister, Leah, whom she admires above anything else. Leah wants to marry her boyfriend, Raj, a young man from India who is going to attend graduate school in New York City. When they are met with disapproval from both sets of parents, they elope. Ari is confused and unhappy at her parents' reaction—they say she can't talk about Leah anymore. She is also worried about the fate of her parents' bakery, and when they have to move, Ari, concerned her sister won't find out, plans a trip to New York to find Leah. Hiranandani's unusual choice to write Ari's narrative in the second person works; it's as if Ari has stepped back to observe herself as objectively as she can, and the point of view is at once personal and universal. In this moving novel about a turbulent time, Ari and her family discover that what is most important is not what you think you want. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.